With Hurricane Irene now making it’s way up the east coast of the US, it’s a good time to review what you can do to conserve your phone’s battery during power outages. It’s also handy for travel, or anytime you won’t be able to recharge for an extended period. Fortunately, Android makes it very simple to manage battery life – at least to a degree. After all, this mobile OS isn’t known for it’s great power management.
To get started, turn on your device, go into All Apps and select Settings. Now select Battery & data manager.
Select Battery mode. By default, Android is set on Nighttime saver. This is to allow “Normal operation during the day. Battery saving at night.” However, you can switch it to Maximum battery saver, which offers “Best battery saving. Least automatic data updates.”
Of course, you can switch these settings whenever you want. For the most part the default “Nighttime saver” is best, but it is handy to be able to conserve your phone’s life when necessary.
Inductive Chargers have been around for awhile the problem has been that different chargers work with different devices. The Wireless Power Consortium is trying to create a universal standard for wireless charging called Qi. One of the first companies to embrace this standard is Energizer who is a winner of the CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award Honorees in the Portable Power Category This category is based on the following criteria
- Engineering qualities* Aesthetic and design qualities
- The product’s intended use/function and user value
- Unique/novel features that consumers would find attractive
- How the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace.
A winning device in this category for CES 2011 is the Energizer Inductive Charger What makes this charger different from other chargers is it uses the Qi standard. This means that any device that is also Qi enabled can use this charger no matter the manufacture, including mp3 players, digital cameras and phones. Devices are enabled by placing them in a sleeve that are then placed on the charger. Energizer will be introducing a QI sleeve for the Iphone 4 and also the Blackberry Curve 8900 along with their already existing sleeves for the Iphone 3GS/3G. As this standard catches on we can expect to see more sleeves for more devices. The Energizer Inductive Charger has two charging zones and a usb port for more charging possibilities. The charge itself will be around $89.00 and the sleeves will run around $35.00. Hopefully at some point the sleeves will no longer be necessary and Qi will become part of devices. I also wonder how well this device will work in a real world situation.
The Energizer Recharge Smart also won a CES Innovation 2011 Design and Engineering Award Honorees in the Portable Power Category. This recharging systems allows the user to see exactly how much juice is left in the batter, How long it will take to charge it. The Energizer Recharge Smart will also tell you if the battery is no longer rechargeable or if you put the wrong type of battery in the charger. The Energizer Recharge Smart charges both AA and AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries. The charger will have a MSPR of $19.99. As people have more portable devices having an easy way to charge them becomes increasingly important.
If today’s smartphones are as powerful as our desktop machines were 5 years ago, the question emerges – why do smartphones have all of these apps written for them, whereas traditional desktop and laptop computers usually have a much smaller number of more generalized, less specialized programs installed?
Compared to the traditional laptop or desktop computer, the smartphone is with the user much more of the time. The smartphone has built-in location awareness, which the typical full-fledged computer does not have.
The smartphone has a very different interface than the full-fledged computer, dictated by its pocket form factor. That pocket form factor dictates a different interface interaction that demands bits and pieces of software to make specific uses easier. Because of always-on Internet access, smartphones can easily pull just the data they need instantly on demand for very specific purposes.
Here’s what can be surmised about the ideal future smartphone devices:
Ultimately, it’s a phone slash computer that fits into a pocket with an always-on connection to the Internet. The touch screen should be as large as possible, but still be able to fit into a shirt pocket. The battery life should be as good as possible. The memory should be as large as possible, the Internet access should be as fast and as reliable as possible. The processing, camera and phone performances should be as good as possible. The device should contain all of the current popular consumer wireless protocols. Overall the device should be as light as possible, and be as rugged and durable as possible.
In short, the smartphone should be able to do everything we expect, and do it well. Surprisingly, some of these devices are getting closer to meeting some of these ideals.
Energizer is releasing a new inductive charging system this October at Target stores and on Target.com. It’s officially called “Energizer Inductive Charger”
The new charging pad will charge any QI (Pronounced Chee) enabled device or a device with a QI accessory. Energizer will have the first two of these accessories available at the same time. They are starting with the iPhone 3G and 3GS sleeves and a BlackBerry® Curve™ replacement battery door. They say they will have more accessories available at a later date. Ultimately, doors and sleeves will not be required as manufacturers begin introducing new devices with the Qi standard built in.
Imagine sitting at your desk and just putting your smart phone on a nice looking pad and not having to plug it in to keep it charged. Or at the end of the day, just put your gadgets on the pad at the bedside and they will be all charged up in the morning.
In the past, these inductive chargers all had a different standard and had to speak the correct language to work. QI is an open source standard so any QI device and charger can work together. QI does require metal to metal contact to work.
I’m looking forward to having a charger like this for my smartphone (Droid).
For more information about these new products check out: Energizer Inductive Charger.
To read more about the QI (pronounced Chee) standard, go to The Wireless Power Consortium home page.